When Google, Mozilla and others get sued for patent infringement
Posted On August 2, 2021
By Alexey Nikolsky | August 10, 2018 07:54:19Google has a big patent on its hands.
The search giant has long claimed that the search engine is a software, not a physical object, and that it is therefore subject to patents, although the company says that its patent portfolio is just “an example of what patent trolls often look for when they sue big companies.”
The company says it has filed more than 200 patents related to Google’s products.
So, the company is certainly a formidable adversary in the legal battle for patents on software, and it’s unlikely that it will be able to win, but there are signs that it’s starting to move.
In a filing to the US Patent and Trademark Office this week, Google’s patent office announced that it had reached an agreement with Mozilla to settle a patent infringement case against the search giant.
The agreement covers a set of Mozilla’s open-source Firefox browsers, and the companies will share the royalties paid to Google.
The terms of the agreement, which will be made public in the coming weeks, are still unclear.
The filing notes that “the parties have agreed to enter into a non-exclusive license agreement with respect to the royalties, and will work together to resolve the relevant issues.”
The agreement does not detail how much the royalties will be paid to Mozilla, nor what the royalties are worth.
Mozilla’s lawsuit against Google came in 2015, when Google sued the company for patent violations.
The lawsuit claimed that Google’s search engine infringed on patents it had on software that it was licensing from Mozilla, which included Firefox.
Google was able to convince the court to dismiss the lawsuit in 2018, but it eventually won a $2 billion judgment against Google in a separate case, in which it argued that Google had violated the terms of its patents.
Since then, Google has been paying royalties on Firefox for a long time.
Mozilla sued Google in 2015 after it used a similar lawsuit to sue Mozilla in the first place.
But the court said in its ruling that the patent infringement didn’t constitute patent infringement.
Mozilla argued that this was because Google didn’t make any specific claims about its products and wasn’t actually infringing on any of them.
“This is not the first time Google has used this strategy to challenge patent licensing agreements,” the company wrote in its filing.
“As a result, the Patent Office has granted Google a preliminary injunction that will prevent Google from using this tactic to challenge existing patents.”
In that ruling, the court found that Google was not infringing on existing patents, and concluded that Google didn.
But that decision was overturned by the US Supreme Court.
In the end, Google won.
In February, the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted Google’s request for an injunction, and a trial began in February.
Google argued that the judge in the case had improperly dismissed the case because the company had no prior case before him.
“It is our position that Google has not shown that the parties have made any claims that could reasonably be expected to affect the patentability of the search-engine products,” Google said in a filing with the court.
Mozilla appealed the decision, and Judge Katherine Forrest agreed with the company.
In her decision, Forrest said that Google “has not shown any specific claim that could justify invalidating the search engines patent licensing agreement.”
In other words, Google didn, in fact, have any claims of infringement that could be expected by the search companies patent licensing, and therefore the judge didn’t think it had enough evidence to find that Google infringed.
In March, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case again, and this time, Forrest sided with Mozilla.
The court ruled in favor of Google.
Judge Forrest’s decision is significant, because it means that Google is still allowed to keep paying royalties to Mozilla.
It’s not clear how many of the royalty payments have already been paid, or how much of the total is expected to be paid over time.
The case has already been appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is expected in October to hear arguments about whether Google should be allowed to continue to pay royalties on its patents at all.
Mozilla has also filed a motion to vacate the court’s ruling, which it believes should result in a lower price for Firefox licenses.
The motion seeks to set a higher royalty rate for the company’s Firefox users, and Mozilla is also hoping that a lower court will allow Mozilla to ask the court for a different ruling on the case.
Mozilla did not respond to a request for comment.
® This story was updated at 10:37am ET to include a statement from Mozilla.